Every year on April 22, we come together to celebrate the Earth and show our support for environmental protection. Established in 1970, Earth Day is a time to reflect on all the Earth has given us. It is also a time to reflect on the ways we are actively working towards a healthier, happier planet by focusing on corporate social responsibility, eco-friendly activities, green initiatives, energy saving, reducing food waste, embracing alternative energy and more. To help celebrate this year, here are a few fun Earth Day facts—plus some delicious recipes and tips to live more sustainably.
Earth Day was inspired by Vietnam War protesters.
In 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson noticed people protesting the Vietnam War, but not putting any pressure on the government about the negative impact the war was having on the planet.
April 22 was chosen because of Spring Break.
Initially, the start of spring in March was to be the official “Earth Day” until organizers realized more college students would celebrate if they were out of class.
It’s called “International Mother Earth Day” in other countries.
The United Nations decided to call it that in 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed because of Earth Day.
As a result of the Earth Day movement, President Richard Nixon approved the formation of the EPA.
Each year has a theme.
This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.”
Our Commitment to Sustainability
Here at Giant Eagle, we do our best to celebrate Earth Day every day by selling sustainably sourced seafood, working with local, sustainable vendors, reducing food waste, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.
One way we can celebrate Earth Day at home is to try and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to make small, simple changes in your everyday cooking and eating. Whether that means learning how to use kitchen scraps or just shopping locally whenever possible, the little changes you make today can add up to big improvements on the road to a more sustainable life, healthier planet and smaller carbon footprint.
1. Make Use of Leftovers
When learning how to cook sustainably, the first step is to start reducing kitchen waste. You can do this by exploring how to use kitchen scraps in your everyday cooking. Make even the smallest of leftovers into entirely new meals by adding rice and turning them into simple stir-frys or mixing in your favorite legumes for a protein-packed entrée like our Bacon & Bean Hot Dogs. Have a box of pasta you don’t know what to do with? Create our Pasta e Fagioli today! You can even take reducing kitchen waste a step further by picking up a small kitchen compost bin or making your own with a sealable container with a few small holes drilled in the lid.
2. Choose Reusable Products
In addition to reducing food waste in the kitchen, it’s important to reduce the waste of paper and plastic that accumulates after shopping and cooking. Try and bring reusable, cloth bags for grocery shopping and bagging produce. If COVID-19 precautions at your store do not allow reusable bags, repurpose plastic bags as garbage liners in the small trash cans around your house in the bathroom and bedrooms until those precautions are lifted. Replace paper towels with washable, heavy duty cloth towels and plastic containers with glass for more sustainable cleaning and storage. Less kitchen waste also means less trips to take out the garbage, saving you time to enjoy your more sustainable kitchen!
3. Pick Plant-Based
Even if you don’t want to dive in head-first to a plant-based lifestyle, incorporating more plant-based, sustainable meats and other plant-based products like the Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat products into your lifestyle is another great way to limit your carbon footprint. Replacing one meal a week with a veggie or vegan option or using plant-based proteins in your burgers and sandwiches can help ease you and your family into more sustainable eating without it feeling like too much of a change.
4. Buy Seasonal Produce
Limit produce waste by only buying what you know you’ll use and shopping for items when they are in-season. Bought too many tomatoes and don’t want them to go to waste? See if anyone in your neighborhood is in the same boat with a different item and wants to trade. And don’t be scared off by “ugly” produce. Turning lemons into lemonade works even if your lemons are a little lumpy!
5. Shop Local
Shopping for local products and produce is a great, easy way to promote sustainability while supporting your community. Shopping locally means your items aren't using an excess amount of fuel or energy to get to you and are as fresh as they can possibly be. Choosing “farm to table” items not only results in higher quality ingredients, but helps a small business in your backyard succeed. At Giant Eagle, GetGo and Market District, we’re proud to work with local businesses in cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Erie, Indianapolis and countless small towns across our states. Check out some of our favorite local shops today!
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